Monday, January 13, 2014

Rob's Top 25 Albums of 2013

25.The Chambermaids
Whatever Happened to Tomorrow

24. Julianna Barwick

23. Wyatt Blair
Banana Cream Dream

Bitchin Bajas

21. Huntronik

20.Sonny Smith
100 Records, Vol.3

19. Connan Mockasin

18. My Bloody Valentine
m b v

17. Monster Rally
Return to Paradise

16. Sonny & The Sunsets
Antenna to the Afterworld

Femi Kuti
No Place For My Dream

14. Cooked Books
The Reader

13. Run The Jewels

12. White Fence
Cyclops Reap

11.Kurt Vile
Walkin' On A Pretty Daze

Thee Oh Sees
Floating Coffin

John Dwyer can shred. We know this. Yet, he continues to work within the confines of three-chord rock n' roll. I've always maintained a healthy respect for artists with this skills to create intricate high brow art, but instead find themselves inspired by the simplicity and structure of the quotidian. Floating Coffin is some of Thee Oh Sees most focused and cohesive material to date. It also contains two of the best tracks of the year in "Toe Cutter - Thumb Buster" and "Minotaur." Rock solid effort top-to-bottom.


The best non-hip hop, hip hop album of 2013. Scope Bengi's review.

Lonnie Holley
Keeping a Record of It
This album hit me harder than any discovery in the last quarter of 2013. Swells of ambient keyboard lines float like wind chimes around Holley's stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Like DMA, this record offers a unique listening experience whose singular quality provides few viable comparisons. The mellow delivery and organic arrangements make Holley's abstract performance more accessible than it has any right to be. It's beautiful, challenging and inviting all at once. 

Pheel Phree

A singular, abstract journey through the mind of one of my favorite working artists. David Moose Adamson fully realized his vision for this acronym on the project's debut full-length. This is Moose. There's nothing else like this LP. Scope my full review via MFT.

Steve Gunn
Time Off

I've probably listened to this record more than anything else in 2013. It's as warm and dependable as a weathered leather jacket stitched with the precision of a Swiss watch. It's the perfect, hypnotic slow burn. For an expanded take, check out my review.

Bill Callahan
Dream River

See: Hank's review

Eleanor Friedberger
Personal Record

Instant classic. Home run. [Insert hyperbole here]. If you can't find a redeeming quality in this record, I really don't want to talk about music with you. See: Zach's review.

Circuit Des Yeux

Like Unknown Mortal Orchestra's II, Circuit Des Yeux's Overdue is the perfect balance of music and lyricism. Chicago's Haley Fohr appears to have found the ideal creative partner in Cave's Cooper Crain, who recorded, produced and performed on this LP. The atmosphere on these ambitious arrangements is dense and pervasive without overshadowing Fohr's formidable vocal prowess as she plunges her emotional depths. delivering a visceral performance that occasionally borders on demonic.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

I thought I wrote a great review of this album, and then Zach posted his.

Caleb McCoach
Songs From An Empty Shore 

Though I'm proud of the initial review I posted on this album, fellow writer Justin Wesley found the best adjective for McCoach's delivery on Songs From An Empty Shore, calling it "nothing short of gutted." Plenty of albums offered more dynamic and challenging musical concepts in 2013, but Songs From An Empty Shore's confessional lyrics elicit a response as intense as a soldering iron to a nerve ending. The voyeuristic crises of faith presented here proved as cathartic and gripping as anything I found this year.

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